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Do Life DifferentDo Life Different
Work-at-home mom: take a deep breath and Do Life Different as you allow these devotions for work-at-home moms to fill the vacuum of your needy heart in the chaos of your busy world.
 
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Archive for Jill’s Blog

Dana Susan Beasley, Branding for Success bloggerNetwork Marketers and Direct Sellers--Branding Can Take Your Business to the Next Level and Beyond!Network marketing, multi-level marketing, and direct selling are very popular these days. It’s an attractive option because you don’t have to build a business from the ground up. Many systems are already in place for you, especially product development.

But are you missing out? If you are a network marketer or direct seller, let me share with you how branding can propel your business to new heights!

For example, perhaps you are a distributor for a nutrition company that sells weight-loss shakes. Sure, the company already has a brand, logo, and marketing materials.

But what if you had your own personal brand? For instance, you brand yourself as a holistic health consultant and the weight-loss shakes is just part of your business. You brand yourself as an expert in the field. That way you can expand your business to include selling information products, books, home study courses, and personal consultations.

You can build a customer base on this foundation, giving you power as you grow and change. Or flexibility if the unexpected happens. Companies do go bankrupt, leaving the distributors in a lurch. Or your interests might change. By branding yourself as the expert, you have more freedom to switch direct selling companies if that is what you desire. Because you should already have a loyal fan base that wants to continue doing business with you.

There’s an old saying, that people do business with people they know, like, and trust. By building a relationship with your own customized brand, not just the company you represent, you are positioning yourself for growth into the future.

This strategy is also smart because it brings you multiple streams of income. Now the danger is getting distracted and flitting from one opportunity to the next. Finding out what you are passionate about and what God has called you to is the bedrock that will keep your business endeavors focused and viable.

Read More→

Jul
20

I Was Just Thinking

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stinking thinkingThinking is not my strong suit by any stretch of the imagination. Every time I start thinking, I either get a headache or get into trouble. I’m not sure which is worse, the headache or the trouble.

In my normal pursuit of life, thinking sits in the backseat. If there is an emergency, thinking may come forward and help out. However, in the meantime, thinking is not something I like to do on a regular basis.

That is my side. On the other side, the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage is always thinking. Most of the time, she is thinking about jobs I should be doing. I don’t know how she does it, but she can come up with a list of “honey-do’s” that will occupy all my time. Of course, I must confess, while I am doing these “honey-do’s” I am thinking, but not thoughts I would like to come out into the public arena.

I do not really have to think that much because my wife thinks for me. How she does it is beyond me, but she knows what I am thinking three days before that thought enters my head. At least, that’s what she tells me and she would not lie to me.

I have learned through the years that there are several questions that I should never ask my wife. One is, “Honey, what are you doing?”

You would think after decades of interaction with her I would know what to say and what not to say. Because I don’t give much to thinking, I usually speak without thinking, which always gets me into trouble. If I could think through something, I just might escape the trouble that I get into.

Just the other day I came home from working at the office and my wife was sitting in the chair and I asked “the” question. “Honey, what are you doing?”

My wife knows how to ask questions and is very skillful at asking the right question. The other side is that she knows how to answer questions to such a degree that gets me into difficulty. How she manages this is beyond my wildest imagination. Of course, if I would think about it, maybe I could come up with an answer, but who has time to think these days?

Without any delay, she responded to my inquiry by saying, “I was just thinking…”

As soon as she said that, I knew I was in trouble. Why don’t I keep my questions to myself? Why must I always fall into that trap she lays for me?

“I was just thinking,” she said without giving me any opportunity to respond, “that we ought to go to the mall this afternoon and do a little bit of shopping.” Read More→

Jul
19

1913 Marital Advice

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I oldcouplehave this book called “Don’ts for Husbands, Don’ts for Wives” written in 1913.  I thought I would share some of the advice given.  I’d really like your comments on them too, so feel free to leave them!

Don’ts for Husbands:

Don’t look at things solely from a man’s point of view.  Put yourself in your wife’s place and see how you would like some of the things she has to put up with. (p.5-6).

Don’t condescend; you are not the only person in the house with brains. Don’t omit to bring home an occasional bunch of flowers or a few chocolates.  Your wife will value even a penny bunch of violets for your thought of her.  Don’t rush out of the house in such a hurry that you haven’t time to kiss your wife ‘good bye’.  She will grieve over the omission all day. Don’t belittle your wife before visitors.  You may think it a joke to speak of her little foibles, but she will not easily forgive you. (p.11)

Don’t forget your wife’s birthday.  Even if she doesn’t want the whole world to know her age, she doesn’t want you to forget.

Don’t for Wives:  

Don’t take your husband on a laborious shopping expedition, and expect him to remain good-tempered throughout.  If you want his advice on some special dress purchase, arrange to attend to that first, and then let him off.  Men, as  a rule, hate indiscriminate shopping.  Don’t allow yourself to get into the habit of dressing carelessly when there is ‘only’ your husband to see you.  Depend upon it he has no use for faded tea-gowns and badly dressed hair, and he abhors the sight of curling pins as much as other men do. He is a man after all, and if his wife does not take the trouble to charm him, there are plenty of other women who will. (p. 137-8) Read More→

Jul
18

Random Acts of Happiness

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Finding Simplicity as a SAHM by Adrina Palmer Now we all know the best part of waking up is coffee in our cup, but the second best part of waking up is sweet notes from our children, spelling errors and all. My vanity table in my room has a note from my son and one from each of my daughters. The note from my youngest says, “I love you mom,” with a smiley face. The one from my son says, “I hope you get a perfect coffee and you are fun, loving, caring, and an overall good mother.” My son’s note is signed anonymous, which cracks me up! Like I don’t know his handwriting and would sit there for hours trying to figure out who left me such a thoughtful note.

My middle child made me a giant card out of purple construction paper that says I am the world’s greatest mom (mind you she has limited knowledge, as I am her only mom). Inside the card are pictures of me flying, drinking coffee (big surprise right?), and a poem about how I am her hero. One time for Mother’s Day at school, my daughter was given a list to fill out about me, and the part that had me rolling on the floor was, when asked what food I cook best, she chose salad. At some point maybe I can take a chance and put together a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, or maybe make some toast!

This morning I woke up to a note from my youngest telling me I am a sweet mom, along with a ticket for a coffee. Let me tell you these notes fuel my life. When I walk into the the laundry room and find shoes on the floor along with dirty clothes preventing the door from shutting, or their rooms are a mess again, or their mess is trickling down the stairs, I begin to wonder if my children hate me. Then I get these notes and know my little ones love me and just need more training and practice. They do love me; they are just little heathens.

Parenting is hard. Adulting is hard (I do enjoy this new trend of turning nouns into verbs). Do not miss the moments that make all the rest of raising children worth the time and energy spent. The notes are great, but I love when my kiddos give me hugs and kisses. I am not much of a cuddler, but I do love affection. I adore when my kids share freckles with me (I have none, they have plenty). All of these wonderful moments of random happiness are the sand that fills the jar. Read More→

The BibleSome Christians who have taken the plunge and placed perhaps just a little bit more faith in God than the rest of us often find that their vocation and their faith are rarely in conflict. However, regardless of one’s political leanings, the gradual drift towards a more ‘modern’ and liberal society is bringing with it unprecedented challenges and previously unseen scenarios for men and women of faith who wish to balance respect for other beliefs with their own sincere convictions.

It is when presented with these dilemmas of faith that many of us turn to the teachings of the Bible, but it is not always practical or possible to do so. For those day to day conundrums, we rely on our best judgment in the absence of higher authority.

As a small business owner, it can be hard to find the most suitable balance between your faith and your finances. Fortunately, you are not alone in this conundrum and there are a variety of people and organizations happy to share their own take on the matters. Here is a selection of both specific pieces of advice with broadsheet applications, and words of general guidance from those who have successfully navigated the minefield.

Open More Doors

Having qualifications under your belt is a tremendous boon when looking to attract potential employees to your business, as well as when presenting yourself to the public at large. Of all the qualifications available, many of which can be obtained for little to no cost, and in some cases without even leaving the house, only a small fraction will be relevant to your chosen vocation.  

This doesn’t mean other qualifications can’t add considerable value to your CV and you as an employer. Remember that the cost of a qualification is a poor metric for measuring its real world usefulness and when considering your educational and training options. There are many options for those looking to supplement their existing contributions to the community by studying, for example, an online MHA degree such as that offered by Ohio University gives students a formal training in healthcare administration, this an area that is currently poorly represented despite its vital importance.

Training and qualifications that allow you perform additional work on the side also give you the opportunity to increase your spiritual and financial contributions to your life and work. An online master of healthcare administration in strategy and innovation is also the kind of degree which will retain its value for a long time and potentially open a variety of doors for you.

Support Good Causes

As a small business, supporting good causes, particularly local ones, is a fantastic way of making inroads with the local community and helping to build your brand as a part of the local fabric. Charitable and other ventures put your company’s name at the front of people’s minds when organizing local events. Read More→

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question manThere are all kinds of questions in this world of ours. Most are rather annoying. It would not surprise me in the least if there were a gang of hooligans somewhere hired to make up silly questions. If I could find this gang, I would disperse them immediately, without a question.

Of course, there is the fact that the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage is in cahoots with these question-maker-uppers. Every once in a while she comes up with questions for Yours Truly.

It is not the questions I object to but rather the answers I am supposed to give in connection to the questions. My wife has a silly notion that the answers I give should be in direct correlation to the questions she asked. Who made up this rule? Oops, that was a question. Sorry about that.

It is my opinion, and mine alone, especially in my home, that if I am asked a question I should have the option to give the answer I want to give whether it relates to the question or not. My wife insists my answer should be a response to her question.

More times than I care to admit, when my wife is asking her second question, I am still thinking about her first question. By the time she had gotten to her sixth question, I have formed an answer for that first question. And when she asks her tenth question, I am answering her first question.

It is all very confusing to me because she always says, ”That was not what I asked you?” It was but she was so far ahead of me that it is virtually impossible for me to catch up. So, if I cannot catch up, I catch flak.

Last week, for example, she put to me a very penetrating question. ”What is that awful smell?”

I would not have taken offense to the question so much, but she was looking straight at me when she posed it. What I took from the question was that I, for some reason unbeknownst to me, smelled pretty bad. Even though it was not Saturday night, I took the hint and marched my raunchy body to the bathroom for a bath.

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Dana Susan Beasley, Branding for Success bloggerMindset-Your Number One Barrier to Successful BrandingWhat keeps you from getting the word out about your business and connecting with your prospects? What prevents them from seeing your value?

Often, the number one reason is because of your mindset.

If you don’t take your business seriously, why would your prospects take your business seriously? A well constructed logo goes a long way to building trust and credibility so that your potential clients feel comfortable hiring you out or purchasing from you.

Your attitude about and belief in yourself also play a big part in achieving brand recognition status. If you don’t believe in yourself or your product/service, why would anyone else? If you don’t think you’re worth it to invest in, why would a prospect?

I have learned all this from the school of hard knocks. I suffered a great barrier in communicating my value to prospects. Sure, I had all the graphics and marketing down pat. But what I didn’t have was a belief in myself. What it took was a mindset shift. I realized that if God created me and He gave me all these gifts and ideas, then it would be dishonoring to Him not to believe in me. After all, He believed in me!

Also, I had to be willing to invest in myself. I bit the bullet and purchased a very good training course on sales. It revolutionized my thinking! Today, I am communicating my value and garnering clients because I finally believed in myself and in the value of what I have to offer. I started showing up to serve wherever I could (mostly Facebook), and I listened. Because of that, I have gathered a like-minded Facebook group of entrepreneurs that totals around 200 people and it is still growing.

 

From that group, I have gotten clients, joint venture projects, and ample market research feedback.

All because of my mindset change.

Read More→

Jul
11

P-A-C

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Pam Bass, When Marriage Matters bloggerPAC, by Pam BassNo, I’m not going to write about PAC-Man, although I did enjoy playing that video game in the 80’s. What does PAC stand for? Let me tell you: We all walk around with these invisible letters above our heads. No, really, we do! We all speak in one of three voices.

The P stands for Parental: It’s that Parental tone of voice that we usually acquire when we become parents. You know that voice: “Do your homework/Take out the trash/Brush your teeth”. We hear our parents’ voices in our own head, whether or not we are now parents. Along with those commands and directives, maybe your parents also were nurturing:

“Way to go/I know you can do that/You’re great at _______!”

The A stands for Adult. It’s that voice we usually take on somewhere between 17-25 years of age. We speak like an adult; its the tone of voice we’d use with an equal, a friend. It too can have positive or negative aspects to it. The negative Adult can be critical, condemning, or complaining a lot. The positive Adult can be encouraging, uplifting, and so on.

The C stands for Child, as you’ve probably guessed. What do children sound like? They too can be positive: “I will pick up my toys now mommy/ I love you daddy/ I did my homework.” Or they can be whining and complain: “I don’t waaaannnttt toooooo/ No, I won’t!/ Do I hhhaaavvve tttoooo??”.

So, what letter are you in, when you speak to your husband? Healthy married people stay in the Adult to Adult mode or voice. It’s the healthiest tone of voice; it’s the nicest, kindest voice we use. We use it with our girlfriends a lot. The reason I wrote about this is that I’ve seen mature, nice, adult Christian women use their Parental voice to their husband. What’s worse, is that they (sometimes) justify it by saying, “He’s my 4th child” or “He’s acting like a child!” I encourage women to be on guard against this kind of thinking. It is very disrespectful to our husbands. It teaches our kids the wrong thing. We want our little sons and daughters to respect their spouses’ don’t we ladies? Then we must model what that looks like. It begins with me, my tone of voice.

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Matthew 5:43
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’”

Jul
07

When The Inspiration Won’t Come – Ideas To Help You Get Going

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Jill Hart - Mixing Faith & Business blogI love those days where I can lie down at night and think back over all I accomplished throughout the day. Unfortunately, those days are pretty few and far between.  Many days I stare at my to-do list feeling completely overwhelmed trying to figure out how I’m going to get something – anything – accomplished.

Not long ago, I got so frustrated with this process that I decided to make a list of things that helped me get my forward momentum back when I feel stuck. Here are a few ideas that I came up with.

Make a New List

We all have a to-do list, but how about making a things-I-love list? Or maybe a things-I’m-grateful-for list? Sometimes just changing our perspective can help kick start our productivity. When I’m looking at a list full of what needs to be done, it can be hard to remember all the good things happening around me. But when I take the time to look beyond my to-do list I am flooded with gratitude for all that God has given me. Those blessings become the inspiration to get back to work and to do the next task on my to-do list … with a better attitude.

Borrow a Brain

When I’m working on something new or trying to come up with a solution to a problem in my business, I often find that I simply can’t do it alone. When times like these hit, I dial up a friend or colleague and schedule a brainstorming session. Whether we meet over coffee, on the phone  or via Skype, I always come away from meetings like these with great new ideas and inspiration. Talking with others when you’re stuck is a great way not only to help solve the problem, but to gain motivation and determination as well.

Glean Excitement

Watching the successes of others has always inspired me. When I began working on weight loss, I often read stories of people who had gone before me and conquered their weight. Not only did I learn how they did it, it also helped motivate me to do the same thing. The same principle holds true for me in business. When I watch videos or read stories of other entrepreneurs and their successes, it makes me want to dream bigger and work harder.

Change Directions

Another way that I “trick” myself into getting to work is to completely ignore what I’m working on. That’s right. I change direction and work on something new. There’s something about changing my focus that helps my mind relax and (sometimes subconsciously) think about the project that I’m stuck on. Sometimes I start a fresh project, other times it’s as simple as checking and answering email. Anything to job my brain in a new direction and get those creative juices flowing.

So, if you find yourself stuck today or simply overwhelmed by your to-do list, try these tips and tricks to get your motivated and inspired!

 

About Jill
Jill is the founder of Christian Work at Home Ministries (CWAHM.com). She is the author of Do Life Different and co-author of So You Want To Be a Work-at-Home Mom and speaks to audiences about faith, business and leadership topics.

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